VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/6/14)—Shirley Jones, who served as interim executive director of the Board of Educational Ministries (BEM), died Sept. 29 at her home in Oakland, California. She had been battling pancreatic cancer.
Her 17 years with BEM began in 1972 as director of financial aid. For 14 years, she was BEM’s director of the Division of Christian Higher Education, serving as the only female division leader. As such, she was responsible for the denomination’s theological education, continuing education and educational standards for professional leaders.
She was wife of the late Dr. Richard Jones, who, before retiring in 1991, had served as deputy executive director of National Ministries, which became American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS). Today, ABHMS carries on the ministries of BEM.
She was a member of Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, Oakland.
She is survived by a daughter, Cheryl Espinosa-Jones of Oakland; a son, Kimball Jones; and grandchildren.
A service will be scheduled in late October to mid-November.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.